R Theriot SS
A Soriano LF
D Lee 1B
A Ramirez 3B
K Fukudome RF
M DeRosa 2B
G Soto C
F Pie CF
C Zambrano P
I don't give a shit about Grunter, but I just hope John Cusack isn't mad at me. He's dreamy.
Because I'll tell you what, if the Cubs play mostly night games on the South Side, that will be the reason they win the World Series that season. Baseball players are used to night games and it takes even smart players a long time to adjust to Wrigley's alarm clock. But if you give a good Cubs team a schedule that baseball's body clocks are used to, they'd have to be a favorite, especially in a season like this, where the NL East and West are strong and the Central is weak.
So, think about that: Cubs fans would celebrate the end of the longest championship drought in sports history in the park of their dreaded city rival instead of their outdoor beer garden, so how happy would they actually be? Talk about the ultimate example of being so Cub. And Sox fans will say that the only reason the Cubs won was because they played in a real baseball stadium, but really, how much solace could a South Sider get in knowing that the franchise that sells sunshine will hoist the most recent World Series banner?
In close games, in which a manager's decisions in baserunning, pitching and substitutions tend to make the most difference, Mr. Torre's teams have struggled in recent years. Over the past three seasons, his record in games tied after the sixth inning is 23-31 -- a .426 winning percentage, compared with .588 in all games. Several of his peers, including Ron Gardenhire of the Minnesota Twins and Willie Randolph of the New York Mets, have performed better in close games.
There's also some evidence that Mr. Torre negatively impacts the performance of his players. Last fall, David Gassko, a former major-league consultant and a contributor to the Hardball Times Web site, did a study of major-league managers through 2006, determining how many additional games a manager won or lost for his team per season. Of the 422 managers he studied, Mr. Torre's score was the sixth-worst.
"There's something in jelly that makes it jelly," says Mr. (Bill) James, senior baseball-operations adviser with the Boston Red Sox. "Without that, it's runny grape juice with a lot of sugar in it. That's what the manager is. He's not the thing you taste, not the thing you're really trying to get to; he's the thing that holds it together."
To celebrate, fans can sign in at mlb.com/cards and receive a free pack of baseball cards. Each pack will contain five base cards from Topps, five base cards from Upper Deck, one chase card from Topps, one chase card from Upper Deck, and one informational card.
Participating hobby stores will also hand out free packs on National Baseball Card Day, as will stadiums that are hosting some of the final exhibition games before the regular season gets under way.
When Reds manager Dusty Baker was asked before Tuesday's game how much weight he gives to a pitcher's "most recent outing" when it comes to making the team, he turned the question on its head and talked about the hitters.
"(Looking at) 'most recent outing' would make you a frontrunner," Baker said. "And I ain't no frontrunner. I don't look at 'most recent outing.' If that that was the case, half the guys wouldn't (make) the team. If that was the case, (Edwin) Encarnacion wouldn't even be on the team.
"I look at the baseball card; I look at what I think he might do; I know what he is doing. It's a combination of things."
"Shi Davidi is not dead. If the emails and comments are anything to go by, I may have given people the wrong impression when I noted recently that CP's estimable baseball beat writer is 'no longer with us'. I meant that in the literal sense, as in 'not in Florida'. Not as in 'has shuffled off this mortal coil'.
Shi himself messaged me. I'm sure his family was getting worried. I told him that my (virtual) powers are limitless and that the Star's travel budget does include a provision for witch doctors and raisings from the dead, not to be confused with the water cure.
So Shi is alive and well, though still labouring under the misapprehension (along with MLB.com's Jordan Bastian and the FAN590's Mike Wilner) that a constant Tampa diet of P.F. Chang's will not eventually kill him. They continue to insist to me that a nightly partaking of disstilled spirits will do likewise. We agree to disagree."
"A Toronto native, he's also a big fan of drag racing and muscle cars, but that's another story."
So, the Yanks won't even make the playoffs, huh? Maybe *you* should be writing for the Globe, Kepner. If Hughes and Mussina don't start getting guys out, and Pettitte's back aches for a while longer, you just might be right.
You ever notice how rarely you see writers look back at the end of the season to review the accuracy of their pre-season prognostications? Yeah, I think we know why. -- Posted by a.O
I had a great uncle who was an old time New Yorker. Always greeted me with "Have a cigar, boy." He was so old fasioned that he wore spats. His advice that he felt would guide me for the rest of my life was this: "Never bet against the Yankees, boy." -- Posted by JULIAN BARRY
Now I'm not saying there's a connection...but doesn't the New York Times Co. own a part of the Boston Red Sox? Yup, I think so. Interesting...
There hasn't been a Bronx-free playoffs in over a decade, and with Yankee Stadium in its last year and Stienbrenner Jrs in their first, I wouldn't be surprised to see them pull out all the stops come trading deadline this summer. -- Posted by Adam Peck
Anyhow, some of you will be pleased with that result. Others, I'm not so sure. I'm now a full 18 months into my stint in Seattle and I'm having a hard time figuring out what drives M's fans. What got me thinking about this was a question from a media colleague last week. "So, what do you think of the fans in Seattle?'' he asked me. "Do they behave like fans in other cities?''
I wanted to tell him yes, but couldn't. That day, I'd already gotten a couple of the usual emails from M's fans chiding me for picking the team to win the division. Haven't stopped hearing about that one. Thing is, I wasn't hearing about it from fans of the A's, Angels or Rangers. I was getting blasted by M's fans. And I'm sorry, that just isn't standard practice in other cities.
"I hope the Red Sox and A's have a great time here and I'm sure everyone will enjoy it but it's ludicrous that our games will be going on at the same time," Valentine said. "The timing is a mistake and I guess that's something that slipped through the cracks when they were planning the schedules."
With all the fanfare surrounding the arrival in Japan of the World Series champions Boston and their Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, the opening of Japan's professional baseball season on March 20 seems like an afterthought.
The Brewers filed a protest with the commissioner's office last spring after the Angels, for the second straight year, sent a team of minor leaguers to Maryvale for the Cactus League finale while their regulars played an exhibition at Angel Stadium that night.
Teams must bring a minimum of four position players who were regulars the previous year or had a "reasonable chance" of being regulars this season to spring road games.
At the end of the morning, the highlight was Alex Rios bringing his five-month-old hobby out onto the field -- a four foot long, gasoline-powered, remote control helicopter. As Rios set up, refueling his impressive looking machine on the warning track in front of the bullpen, one of his teammates remarked jokingly, "I'm staying away. I don't trust a Puerto Rican with a sharp object in his hands." This was just men being boys.This paragraph raises more question than it answers. Why is the remote control sharp? Who is the
Q. The Yankees are always heavily involved in free agency, any thought about that and your free agency?
A. "No, I'm focused on this season right now, playing in Cleveland and trying to win," said Sabathia.
Q. Do you like New York?
A. "New York is fine," said Sabathia. "We only go there a couple of times a year. It's fun when I go there."
Q. When you went to New York to get the Cy Young Award over the winter, did any New York fans talk to you about coming to the Yankees?
A."I had fun there, but no fans said that," said Sabathia.
The "You Make The Call" promotion will run from Thursday, March 13 at 9:00am through Wednesday March 26 at 5:00pm. Fans may choose from a selection of songs, including "Because We Can" by Fat Boy Slim or "Song 2 (Woo Hoo)" by Blur for the Home Run song, and "Build Me Up Buttercup" by The Foundations or "Shout" from Otis Day and the Knights for the Seventh Inning Stretch. Choices for the Nationals Victory Song include "Beautiful Day" by U2 and "How Do You Like Me Now" by Toby Keith.If you'd like to peruse the entire list, feel free. But I'm telling you, there's only one song on there I give a damn about. Kenny Rogers is a demigod. Here are my suggestions for each of the three songworthy occasions:
You wanna get this party started? That's the list. I'm also available to DJ weddings and Bar Mitzvahs as well as write out the Nationals lineup card.
" "They've always liked that when I'd go out and start arguing. Put on a little show," Lasorda said."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he had not decided where to play Crystal. "Billy Crystal has done a lot for this organisation," he said. "He's always been a big part of it. This is our way of rewarding him, saying thanks for everything you've done."Really, Joe? How so? Did the kvetching from his box seats distract Byung-Hyun Kim and Tim Wakefield? Did he give hitting tips to Reggie Jackson?
"I'm overwhelmed by the generosity of the Yankees and commissioner Selig. I know this'll be tougher than the Broadway Softball League, but I'm looking forward to helping the younger players - which by the way, is all of them."Oh, that Billy! He knows his Yankees inside and out! What a dipshit showbiz elf. My only qualm about Thursday's game is that it's not against the Devil Rays. It would have been sweet to see him get drilled in the fro as part of the growing animosity between the two teams. Unfortunately, the Yankees are playing the Pirates so Crystal will probably hit for the cycle and we'll never hear the fucking end of it.
"I am surprised that Girardi went after it the way he did," Zimmer said. "The plate was blocked, and our guy bowled him over. What's that got to do with spring training? That's how you play the game. "I'm talking about a guy (Girardi) that's like a son to me. I can't believe he went after it the way he did because that's not Joe Girardi."
Asked whether he needed to talk to Girardi, Maddon made light of the situation "I've always liked Joe," he said. "If he would like to have a conversation, I'd like to talk about politics. I'm good with global warming. I'm good with a lot of different topics on a daily basis. I like iTunes; I download some stuff off iTunes, I like different restaurants. I like red wine. I have a lot of different areas I can go conversationally."
On the final day of the 2007 season, Bay said, "To think we're going to win 100 games or go to the World Series next year with the exact same team it would be a little foolish." Then, at the Pirates' annual fan festival in Pittsburgh in January, he said, "I think that, for a championship-quality team, you need to make more moves. And I'm not talking about the .500 team we can be. I don't think anyone in this room is going to tell you we're a championship-quality team."
"I'd love to be part of the turnaround but I understand that if things don't work out and there's a direction they want to go, there'll be a few different names that aren't here and that's just how baseball works," said Bay.My God, cliches are good at masking giddiness aren't they?
When Rolen, was asked if he would agree to an interview, he turned from infielder to interrogator. Rolen wanted to know what kind of questions he would have to field.
"Eckstein said Rolen reveled in rumbling into middle infielders, which could be contagious."While some may call that hustle, history suggests otherwise. WoW intern Darren found two instances of Rolen injuring his shoulder on the basepaths.
"Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen injured his left shoulder in a collision at first base on Tuesday night and was removed from St. Louis' game against the Dodgers... a collision with Arizona's Alex Cintron knocked Rolen out of the 2002 postseason, also with a left shoulder injury."His continued wreckless abandon can mean only that he loathes the game in which he has made his name, and is trying to sabotage it. Hey this isn't my opinion, it's science.
"It's still a good opportunity because I like the competition. What I'm more worried about is getting good animals in Panama and improving the genetics of the breed there."
"According to Bonser and pitching coach Rick Anderson, he can "finish" his pitches, meaning his gut no longer gets stuck between his chest and thighs like an airbag."